Cover image for Politics of illusion : the Bay of Pigs invasion reexamined
Politics of illusion : the Bay of Pigs invasion reexamined
Blight, James G.
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Rienner Pub., 1998.
Physical Description:
xix, 284 pages : maps ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1788 .P575 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This critical oral history is based on a series of meetings which brought together former CIA officials, former anti-Castro Cuban operatives, a former high-ranking Soviet official and others involved in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Transcripts of the sessions are presented and placed in context.

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Choice Review

Utilizing the method of "critical oral history," this reexamination of the Bay of Pigs invasion is based on a 1996 conference that brought together former CIA officials, anti-Castro Cuban operatives, embassy personnel, a senior White House advisor, scholars, and a Soviet specialist on Cuba. Edited transcripts of the sessions constitute much of the text, and there are excellent appendixes that include recently declassified documents, two chronologies, and useful maps. The first four chapters treat the buildup and the invasion, focusing on the relationship of the anti-Castro resistance and the CIA, the role of the CIA, US attempts to topple Castro, assassination, and the use of force. The last two chapters discuss the invasion's aftermath, Operation Mongoose, and the fate of the resistance. Other significant topics such as the decision-making process, the role of key individuals, and insights into specific events and decisions are offered as well. Of particular value are analyses of the illusions of different participants, their multiple feelings of betrayal, the incredible lack of policy coordination, and a special epilogue on "John Wayne's" illusions. Previous knowledge is assumed. This book is a truly valuable addition to the literature. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. L. Wendzel; United States Air University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
A Note on Declassified Documentsp. xii
Dramatis Personaep. xiii
Prologue: "john Wayne's" Betrayalsp. 1
Notesp. 7
1 The Anti-Castro Resistance Meets the Ciap. 9
Notesp. 29
2 The Cia Calls the Shotsp. 35
Notesp. 56
3 Kennedy's Attempts to Topple Castrop. 59
Notesp. 81
4 Assassination and the Use of U. S. Military Force at the Bay of Pigsp. 83
Notesp. 103
5 Operation Mongoose and the Fate of the Resistancep. 107
Notesp. 131
6 Aftermath of the Bay of Pigs Invasionp. 133
Notesp. 147
Epilogue: John Wayne's Illusionsp. 149
Notesp. 154
Appendix 1 Mapsp. 155
Appendix 2 Abbreviations and Acronymsp. 157
Appendix 3 Chronology of U. S. Decisionmaking Regarding the Bay of Pigs Invasion and Operation Mongoose, January 1959-october 1962p. 159
Appendix 4 Chronology of Cuban Resistance, January 1959-july 1961p. 173
Appendix 5 Declassified Documentsp. 185
Indexp. 277
About the Bookp. 284